posted by: JLT
A few months ago, I was thinking about getting back into comic book binding. I had some books bound a few years ago, but after a while, I didn’t’ like the idea of having my books permanently damaged due to the binding process. I also didn’t like dealing with issues like trimming, because some books had text that was too close to the edge and got cut off. I tried putting my books in the three-ring binders from an office supply store and used comic sleeves to hold them, but I also didn’t like the results (the binders were too awkward to move on a bookcase because they’re more triangular). I gave up that idea and decided to try bookbinding again, trying to learn from my mistakes years ago. I even came to a comic book forum for help with some graphic covers, but the idea of having my books cut up started to nag at me again. In the end, I found a great alternative.
I discovered UniKeep, a company that makes enclosed binders which are rectangular like a book, so I don’t have to worry about the awkwardness of regular three-ring binders. So I bought a few to test them out and they worked pretty well.
Since I was interested in having graphic covers for when I planned to do binds, I decided to go with UniKeep View Case Binders since they have a clear overlay (like DVD cases), and I’m able to put in my own artwork. I bought a wide-format printer to print my own covers using 11 X 17 paper (it doesn’t completely cover the back of the binders, but I don’t really need to have anything on the back cover, and a printer that can print larger sizes would have cost a lot more). The UniKeep website has binder cover templates for creating your own covers, so I used them as a guide for lining everything up properly. I went with really simple templates for my covers because I’m not experienced enough for Photoshop (and frankly I didn’t want to take the time to do anything more elaborate).
The design is a mashup of the two different types of covers used on the Marvel Premiere Classic hardcovers, just because I liked those designs a lot. I created everything in Microsoft Word because I wanted to keep the alignments the same from binder to binder. I figure if I wanted to, later on, I could design something more unique for each binder. The good thing about this method is that I can easily redo a cover if I wanted.
So I think I found a good alternative to comic binding. With this method I don’t have my books cut up, I can easily redo a binder if I need to (add issues, rearrange the books’ order, etc), and with the printed covers they look pretty nice on the bookcase. If anyone has doubts about having their books bound, they might want to look into this. Order your comic book binder today.